Why branding isn’t enough


“What’s your brand?” We’ve heard the question a hundred times, and as we try to give an accurate answer we have that uneasy feeling that somehow it sounds a little hollow or unfinished. 

Brands are interesting animals. They can be cultural forces, like Coca Cola or Apple, or cultural failures, like Enron. They give us hooks to live by, associate with, belong to and brag about. I only wear Toms shoes because their brand represents so much more than footwear – it’s a social force for good around the globe, changing the lives of thousands of children on a daily basis.

In his outstanding book Lovemarks, Kevin Roberts powerfully proves how the world is moving beyond brands to lovemarks. It’s a fantastic read filled with fascinating real life anecdotes and powerfully practical advice on how to move your product from “like”to “love”.

Branding and Lovemarks are cool, but I propose there is something even better that lives at a deeper level. I call it Imaging. The first two work from the outside inwards, whereas Imaging flows from the inside out. It is a manifestation outwardly of the  unique truth that lives within you and makes you who you are. It’s a discovery and understanding of the heart and soul of a person, which then finds expression in a product or company.

Imaging is powerful because it doesn’t require regular updating, or constantly keeping up with new trends. Your essential, unique nature doesn’t change much over time so if we can Image you and then apply that truth to your work, the power of that relationship will ensure a unity that never changes but in fact grows stronger, deeper, and increasingly fruitful.

At ZOmedia, I fuse design, branding and culture to unlock your uniqueness and then develop strategies for turning your Imaging into an advantage whichever arena you find yourself in. It’s taken me over three decades of experience in design, leadership development, culture creation and global experiences to develop this proprietary methodology for Imaging, and has proven to be a powerful tool for beautifully maximizing one’s effectiveness in life and work.

In this increasingly fluid and shallow global culture in which we live and work, where today’s brand is yesterday’s look, we all need somethings deeper, longer lasting and more stable to live by. We need a way to express our truth and uniqueness which remains true over time, resonating with our essential self so that our clients and customers enjoy a meaningful relationship with us which gives them security and joy. There is a way to accomplish this new way of living life and doing business. It’s called Imaging.